Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/957/25869
From The Socialist newspaper, 26 July 2017
Bron Afon workers strike against £3,000 pay cut
Picket line, photo Dave Reid (Click to enlarge)
Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales
Support workers for Bron Afon housing association in Cwmbran, south Wales, have taken their third day of strike action against a £3,000 annual pay cut imposed by management on the staff in the Supported Living Team.
The workers provide assistance to vulnerable people over the age of 50 in their own homes, helping them access benefits and acting as their advocates with housing and financial problems. They provide practical support too for those with mental health issues, addictions and those who have experienced domestic abuse.
But when Bron Afon renegotiated its contract with Torfaen council, it cut the workers' wages from £23,572 to £20,416 and increased the workload. Increasing client numbers under the new contract means staff are having to work even harder for significantly less pay.
The mood was high on the picket line on 21 July as workers from other Unison branches and Cardiff and Newport trade union councils mobilised to support them on their third strike day.
If Bron Afon can get away with cutting wages as the funding cuts bite then that will set the bench mark for care companies and other housing associations to follow in a race to the bottom of wage levels and working conditions.
Torfaen council, which has councillors on the Bron Afon board, is getting a service from Bron Afon workers at cut-price wage levels.
The strike at Bron Afon emphasises the dangers of the outsourcing epidemic that has engulfed Welsh council workers. Most of the councils boast of being living wage employers, including Torfaen, but this claim is completely undermined as all the councils in Wales, mostly Labour councils, are forcing down the wages of outsourced workers.
The next strike date is 3 August. You can send messages of support to Unison members at Bron Afron - send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org
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In The Socialist 26 July 2017:
What we think
Right wing attempts to use single market against Corbyn
Socialist Party workplace news
Barts health strike: Low pay, no way!
Birmingham bin workers stand firm
Bron Afon workers strike against £3,000 pay cut
Court victory for PCS and all trade unions
Tesco's 10% pay increase accompanied by cuts and job losses
Mears workers escalate action to all-out strike
Workers' campaign underway to stop ward closure
Workplace news in brief
International socialist news and analysis
Building workers' struggle and the forces of international socialism
Socialist Party news and analysis
Abolish tuition fees and student debt!
Education cuts: Tories buckling under public pressure
BBC yawning pay gaps revealed
Homelessness and evictions soar under the Tories
Them & Us
Art and the Russian revolution
Russia 1917: how art helped make the revolution
Young people...fight for a future, fight for socialist policies
Grenfell survivors tell Tories: "Step down and resign"
Vigil for Grenfell
Tenants' meeting reveals huge anger
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Corbyn visits Southampton on marginal seat tour
Huddersfield A&E closure referred to Jeremy Hunt
From Militant to the Socialist Party - what you thought
Socialist sales at Salford station
Street cleaners support the Birmingham bin strike
'Freedom riders' lobby against violent policing
Council meeting abandoned after undercover policing protest
Education cuts forced back in Hackney
Southampton councillors faced with angry anti-cuts campaigners
Plans to bring A-levels back to Knowsley abandoned
The Socialist 26 July 2017 |
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